Thinking we needed to hit the streets and find a nearby hotel I searched wildly for my jacket. The young German woman sitting to my left “found” it on my chair back. After a brief exchange with her handsome young spouse she switched from German to perfect English and offered to let us crash on their couch. Relieved, we accepted another round of full steins from a buxom blonde in a Dirndl dress. The night’s liquid consumption stayed in my system for a couple of days, although a massive headache crept in as the alcohol receded. But the food, music, and camaraderie I experienced at the beer fest still remains a pleasant memory.
Readers may know that the 16-day Oktoberfest grew out of the lavish wedding reception thrown by Bavaria’s Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen back in 1810. It was such a hit Bavarians turned it into an annual event.
Oktoberfest is celebrated each year in many American cities. Some of the more notable ones take place in Cincinnati (Oktoberfest Zinzinnati); LaCrosse, Wisconsin; Chicago, Minneapolis, and Vail, Colorado. Food, beer, and oompa bands abound.
These days I put more emphasis on the food than on the beer during Oktoberfest. I like to celebrate it in my own home by creating a German-inspired dish each year. A few years ago experimenting with crushed pretzels and mustard resulted in Pretzel Schnitzel, pictured here. It’s quick, easy, and healthy; and while readers may not be able to find it in the “Schweinefleisch” section of a true German menu, it smacks of German flavors to me. You’ll find it in Easy Weekly Meals for College Students, available on our products page now, and Easy Weekly Meals for Moms on the Go, available in November, 2012.